Sedans & Coupes

The 2020 Nissan Maxima Deserves More Credit

Sedans are in a tough spot right now, but these cars still a great option for many customers. When someone says sedan, most people think of compact or midsize sedans like the Toyota Corolla or the Honda Accord. That being said, full-size sedans do exist, and the 2020 Nissan Maxima isn’t that bad.

The pros of the 2020 Nissan Maxima

Like CNET wrote, sedans are typically considered to be boring cars that don’t really change much from year to year, but Nissan is trying something different with the latest model year of the Maxima. And, to some extent, Nissan has accomplished its job. CNET said that Nissan has approached the latest Maxima with the motto of making it a four-door sports car. 

To be clear, CNET said that it’s not exactly a sports car, but at the very least it is sportier than many of its competitors. That’s one of the things that CNET liked about it, too. The Maxima not only looked sporty, as it had an “aggressive grille,” but it also performed pretty well on the road. The Maxima only has one engine option, and it’s a 3.5-liter V6 that gets 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque. 

That engine is paired with a CVT, which CNET said was actually a pretty good CVT when all things were considered. That powerful V6, when combined with the CVT, allowed the Maxima to accelerate rather quickly in the real world. The CVT also allowed the Maxima to get pretty good fuel economy scores, as it got an EPA estimated 24 MPG combined, according to CNET. 

CNET also praised the Maxima for having a pretty good infotainment system. The Maxima comes with an 8-inch touch screen display as standard, along with other features such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The cons of the 2020 Nissan Maxima

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While the Maxima is clearly pretty strong in certain areas, it was not a flawless car in CNET’s eyes. Despite Nissan’s attempt at making the Maxima a four-door sports car, the Maxima lacked a few features that most sports cars would have.

For example, CNET didn’t like the quality of the leather that Nissan used for the Maxima, and a real sports car would have pretty high-quality leather seats.

Furthermore, despite being a full-size sedan, CNET said that the Maxima still has limited headroom in its rear seats. Obviously that is not ideal as most people who buy a full-size sedan are expecting to have more room than a smaller sedan would have. 

And, while the Maxima does have some good infotainment systems, it is lacking Nissan’s ProPilot Assist system. ProPilot Assist would give the car adaptive cruise control with lane centering, according to CNET, but for one reason or another, Nissan isn’t offering it on the Maxima. That said, the Maxima does have regular adaptive cruise control as an optional feature.

Can it compete with its rivals?

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Overall, CNET liked the Maxima, and when it comes to pricing, it’s still competitive with its rivals. For example, the Toyota Avalon costs about $1,500 more than the Maxima does, which makes the Maxima a more attractive choice for some customers. 

Plus, according to Consumer Reports, the Maxima is a pretty good full-size car that’s about right in the middle when it comes to its ranking. In terms of its acceleration, it has the second-best acceleration time, with the Dodge Charger being faster. At the same time, the Maxima is also one of the more fuel-efficient sedans in its segment, and only the Avalon beats it in that regard. 

So, the Maxima may not be the best car overall, but it’s still easily better than many of its competitors.